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COVID-19 Has Transformed Senior Care and Life Plan Communities
By Sanjeev Shetty  |  Aug 19, 2021
COVID-19 Has Transformed Senior Care and Life Plan Communities
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Ever wonder how the senior living industry has transformed post pandemic and what you can expect in 2021 and beyond? Shetty gives some insights into what was learnt and how the industry will evolve in Senior living worldwide, including the use of AI, Robotics and social engagement technology to provide solutions for social isolation, home care, virtual care and labor shortages.

WASHINGTON D.C. - The year 2020 was the exclamation point for senior care and the senior housing industry. I often refer to the post pandemic transformation as ‘Senior Living 2.0.’ For some operators or owners who were in the industry for several years, COVID-19 was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The continuing care retirement community (CCRC), or life plan community, concept is a campus with a full continuum of care, from independent living through skilled nursing, where residents can continue to live in the community as their acuity decreases.

Generally, life plan communities outperformed other types of seniors’ housing amid the pandemic due to an increased focus on choice and long-term residents. The more recent recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is a very different animal from the 2008 housing crisis in that housing prices have soared on low interest rates and limited inventory. Home prices rose 12.2 percent from February 2020 to February 2021, according to the US Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index. Furthermore, there have been some major areas of innovation in the past 18 months, coming out of the pandemic for senior care and life plan communities, in the areas of infection control, social engagement, robotics and virtual healthcare care delivery models.

To understand Senior Living 2.0, we had to first figure out what residents and staff were saying, who lived and worked in these life plan communities, and what the need for transformation was. In September last year, a new national survey of independent senior living communities’ residents, staff and prospective residents released by senior living development advisor Plante Moran Living Forward and senior living marketing agency Retirement DYNAMICS showed respondents felt safe during COVID-19 and confident their communities had taken appropriate precautions to keep them safe.

The survey also f

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